On Dec. 2, 2007, my husband and I went to bed hearing that a major storm headed toward Washington would pass well north of us. At 3 a.m., there was a car in the ditch and water over the road. Having dealt with floods before, we started to get cows milked and move things out of harm’s way, or so we thought. By 12, we had seven feet of water on the main floor of the house and our animals were drowning. Only those that have gone through something like this can understand how terrible it was.
In the days and weeks that followed, we had tremendous help from friends, neighbors and total strangers. But the loss was still there.
From that time until today, we have supported the efforts to build a dam above Pe Ell for short-term water retention. Just a few days of holding water back will save people like us as well as Chehalis, Centralia and the millions of dollars in loss due to the closing of Interstate 5.
To get the dam built, we need leaders, and we have them. Among those working tirelessly for flood control was Commissioner Edna Fund, who became the county commission’s leader on flood control. Since 2007, she has been at the center of the fight to build a dam. She has been there every year, every legislative session, and every fight we had to win.
Now, after decades of just talking about flood control, we are in the last stages of seeing it happen. There are many others who deserve praise, such as One Voice chairman John Henricksen, Rep. Richard DeBolt, Sen. John Braun and former Rep. J. Vander Stoep.
Until recently, The Chronicle has also been a great help. But don’t forget that Edna Fund has been the effective voice from the county government. Flood control on the Chehalis River will benefit all of Lewis county. If we get this done, Edna Fund will deserve a fair share of the credit.
Cindy M. Dykstra